At what age is one considered to be "an older person"? I suppose that at the ripe old age of 75 I am regarded by others as "old", although personally speaking I consider age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind it doesn't matter!
Mum has recently celebrated her 75th birthday, and while many writers often fail to put the voice of older people at the forefront of their writing, I wanted to go some way to redressing that balance by finding out directly from my mum what life is really like at 75.
Historically, over 60s have always been far less likely to divorce than the rest of the population. But trends are changing and the first decade of the twentieth century has heralded a rising number of over-60s separating - often after years of marriage.
I used to read a great deal about spirits and how to lead a life that is "spiritual" with the hope and desire to find answers to so many questions that I used to ask. Always dreaming that the next book would hold the key - a great deal of my time was spent searching. Book after book, chapter after chapter, always seeking and asking and not a great deal of "doing".
What is it about the senior entrepreneur that is so oxymoronic? Surely an older person is the most likely candidate to invent bifocals. I doubt that many 20-somethings (today as much as in the 18th century) have ever stopped to consider the greatness of a lens with two distinct optical powers.
I may grow old but I will never "wear the bottom of my trousers rolled", unless I'm at the beach. Partly, because I'm not an east London hipster, but mostly because I am six feet four inches tall and spent my entire childhood wearing ankle flappers because of poverty, not style.
If you've noticed your weight increasing as you go through menopause, you've probably also found that it's difficult to find advice that works. As a doctor who only sees women over 40 in my weight loss clinic, dealing with weight gain at menopause is something I have a lot of experience in.
I have always been interested in how we age as one side of my family lived well into their 90's and the other side only into their 60's. This huge difference was something I was acutely aware of growing up. Was the difference simply down to genes, or was lifestyle also a factor? Of course, I wanted to live a long and healthy life. It felt like I had to pick which side to follow.
I was a Christian for 25 years. In that period, I believed some of it for some of the time. I probably never believed all of it; I don't think any Christians do, in reality, other than those who habitually blur the distinction between reality and fantasy. My faith gradually declined until in the few years leading up to my Big Surprise - the mid-life crisis...
If your child leaving creates a hole in your life, you must find new and healthy ways to fill it. The empty nest often means that you have to adjust to living alone with your partner again, which you haven't done for 18 years. It's very common for old tensions or arguments to resurface and explode, so it's important to make a real effort to connect with them again.
Living as I do at the side of a river and with many beautiful lakes in the area I have no shortage of inspiration. Painting in oils is my preferred medium although I must admit oil painting can get a bit messy at times! I often work as a motivational speaker aboard cruise ships enabling me to travel the world, but always carry a sketchpad and paints in my luggage.
"I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that" Lauren Bacall... Ms. Bacall if you run into my Grandpa up in heaven please feel free to curl up beside him and tell him the life stories etched on your beautiful face, I bet there are some great ones to share.
All too often people put care and retirement living in the 'too difficult' box and just don't think about it until they really have to. The misperception is that it's a care home or nothing. And what that can mean is people end up at crisis point, with no idea of the options open to them, and make a rushed decision under pressure.
I've been a fan of de-cluttering for most of my adult life - as I believe the less clutter you have in your life the clearer and more centred you can become. This applies to all areas of life too including
No man ever wants to contemplate the possibility of male menopause. They want to leave all of this to the female sex. Men have suffered for years thinking that they have depression and other health issues instead of the natural dwindling of their testosterone levels.
I consider myself fortunate to be "tech savvy" and realise my life is richer from my being so, and I am hopeful this will become the norm for the majority of older folk in future generations. If you are still resisting...don't. I'll guarantee your life will be enriched if you take up the challenge.... to conquer the computer!